OM-D EM-1 battery life

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Geminiq, Oct 21, 2013.

  1. Geminiq

    Geminiq New to Mu-43

    Oct 21, 2013

    Greetings everybody!
    Just joined the club a week ago. Got my first m43 camera, which is the lovely OM-D EM-1.
    I had not enought time to shoot many photos with the new baby, just about 40 pics. Rather I was
    playing with the menu system, beacuse it's bit different what I used to. During this short introductory
    I realized a very short battery life. 40 pics, and plus the 1.5 max 2 hrs playing with the menu system
    and battery died. (no live view, no video...)
    Of course it was fully charged before first use...

    Is it a normal operation that viewing static images and menu on the screen eat up the battery so
    fast, or is it a defective battery maybe?

    Anyway, what's your average number of pictures shooting with one charge with EM-1?

  2. Eubios

    Eubios Mu-43 Rookie

    Nov 24, 2012
    Hi Geminiq,

    Had a similar situation with the first two charges but it drastically improved after that.

    I made sure to completely discharge the battery before recharging.

    So I would say you do not have to worry.

  3. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 8, 2012
    mine ate through playing with the menus also ? but my EM-5 I cant remember
    have not shot my EM-1 long enough to know how it will compare ?
    I dont chimp much and have previews turned off on my EM-5 I would go about 600-900 frames often in the 800s or so hoping this one does as well in real world :)
  4. Geminiq

    Geminiq New to Mu-43

    Oct 21, 2013
    Thanks for the comments.
    Ok, I try not to worry :)
    Found these battery saving tips for EM-5, so hopefuly will work with E-M1 too.
    Don't know how true is the mentioned 1200 shots there, but I'd be happy to experience HappyFish's numbers :)
  5. cd23murray

    cd23murray Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 7, 2012
    North Carolina
    I just used the em-1 this past week to shoot a dance marathon in a dark convention center. I was able to take 500+ shots using the evf probably 75% of the time. I didn't review too much, really just shooting and still had some battery to spare (although no more than 20-30%). I think have the lcd on is the biggest draw, otherwise I think 500 shots over 4 hrs isn't too bad.
  6. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    rob collins
    Hmmm... this is a subject quite close to my heart. I have both the E-M1 and E-M5. What I have found is that the battery life on 'my' E-M1 is at least double that on my 'E-M5'.

    I have, however, been getting around 300-350 shots on my E-M1. This is about what most people get.

    With my E-M5 I found I used to get only 100-150 shots and I also could go through 3 and 1/2 batteries a day.

    So what to make of it? My theory is that my E-M5 had a power leak of some sort and that it was that which reduced battery life.

    So I do think that something similar for you is a 'possibility'. On the other hand it is pretty easy to play with settings for a couple of days and run down the battery without taking many shots. So I would continue testing it for a while before you worry too much that your camera has a problem.
  7. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 8, 2012
    my worry was is the new viewfinder going to take more ?
    hope the wifi is %100 off unless activated which it seems to be
    the newer functions like peaking ? does that change things ? no idea :)
    is the rear screen going to take more ?

    sure once we all use these longer we will get better ideas :)

    Robbie36 :) yeah strange low numbers I did read another post you thought something was up ? bummer for sure cause I would go nuts with only 150 shots per battery :(
  8. campbellcj

    campbellcj Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 30, 2012
    My experience with the E-M5 has been similar -- I find the battery life appallingly bad! Plus, it seems to go with little or no warning. The meter reads full and then after a few shots, it's empty. I suppose I got spoiled with a Nikon D3 and its beefy batteries. I just got my E-M1 the other day and have not shot with it yet, but I'm glad to hear it may do better. I have 6 batteries now between the 2 bodies, and hope I can get through a day of active shooting with those!
  9. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 8, 2012
  10. RakSiam

    RakSiam Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 11, 2013
    Interesting. I am "feeling" like my E-M1 is not nearly as good with the battery life. But I haven't been keeping any stats. Could just be a function of the initial set up and spending more time changing settings to get a feel for things.
  11. langer318

    langer318 Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 17, 2013
    Upstate, NY
    I had mine out on Saturday and took about 500 shots with no battery issues or low warning at all. On top of that it was below freezing and I even took about 15 minutes of video in subzero (Fahrenheit) wind chills. Other than the filter on my lens icing up a bit I had no issues and the battery never showed low charge.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    rob collins
    First, you can change the battery warning light parameters to make it show up earlier. Simply change the batter warning indicator from '0' to +1 or +2.

    Secondly, I can definitely confirm I am getting far better battery life from the E-M1 (although I am also pretty sure my E-M5 was faulty.)

    On Sunday I took 860 shots with slightly less than 2 batteries - that is at least double what I ever achieved with my E-M5. Also 1) I have auto-EVF on while with the E-M5 it was switched to off (so I was mostly on the EVF) and 2) I also had a one hour break from shooting which I spent mostly chimping the shots I had taken earlier in the day.
  13. jhzafrani

    jhzafrani New to Mu-43

    Oct 29, 2013
    I wondered about this issue before I got my E-M1 and the first couple of charges I experienced a lot of what everyone else was experiencing. Last week, however, I was able to shoot at a halloween party and I shot about 2500 pictures using two batteries. Granted, I had almost everything turned off (except for the image stabilization). It is still not close to my E-M5 which I shot a black belt ceremony with (lots of high speed shooting) and shot about 4500 pictures using two batteries.
  14. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 8, 2012
    so shot a party tonight got about 680 photos :) on one battery about half the night was shooting both JPG/Raw was using the peaking a lot and the other half straight raw so at least my problem was grip related :)
  15. Geminiq

    Geminiq New to Mu-43

    Oct 21, 2013
    Heyy mates, how do you get 500 or more shots with 1battery? :)
    What are your camera settings?

    Mine's best was around 300 shots with 1 battery, using the playback just a few times.
  16. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    The wi-fi seems to be "on" as a default. If you're not going to be using it, turning it off might save on battery life. I have no idea if it costs any battery life if it's on but not being used, but just turning it off can't hurt...

  17. bcaslis

    bcaslis Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 3, 2011
    Wilsonville, OR, USA
    Brian Caslis
    No, I don't think it is on by default. If it was on you would have the waiting for connection screen. The icon is there so you can turn it on, but it's not on if the icon is just showing on the screen.
  18. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 8, 2012
    most things are off like full time AF etc.. ? sleep 5 minutes auto off 30 minutes ?
    I don't have the preview on if I need to check a image I hit the button and look :)
    tends to use the EVF about %85 or more of the time and do use the screen when I want angles above or below and don't want people looking at me and smiling ;)

    I don't use any special art stuff shoot raw fast cards quicker write might use less batter ? dont know about that though :) hahahah

    tend not to tinker with settings ? I did use focus peaking more and am curious if that eats batteries quicker or not ? would be fun to test that

  19. MikeB

    MikeB Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 10, 2010
    Atlanta, GA
    Guys, counting shots per battery isn't really the right way to measure things. We have a live-view camera, so the sensor is always active and consuming power. The screen (or EVF) is always active and consuming power. The image processor chip is always active, converting raw data to jpeg and sending it to the screen/EVF. Writing to the SD card and activating the mechanical shutter are momentary events that don't consume much power compared to the first three items. So the real test of the battery is how many minutes the camera is awake, not how many pictures you can take. If I point the camera at a target and play with settings for 5 minutes and only take one shot, I probably consume almost the same amount of power as taking 100 shots of a 5 minute event.
  20. jhzafrani

    jhzafrani New to Mu-43

    Oct 29, 2013
    Just about every feature is turned off... :) My camera is setup as follows:

    1. Screen is off. Always. I only use it to change settings. To frame a shot, I only use the EVF.
    2. I only use super high speed cards and generally use RAW+JPEG.
    3. Only the center focus point is turned on.
    4. Image review is turned off.
    5. Sleep is set to 1 minute.

    I noticed that some lenses use up more power than others. The 75mm, for example, uses more power since it tends to try and refocus if the subject is too close. I only shoot prime lenses and I am not sure if that has anything to do with the battery life.

    I hope this helps...